Was I born a masochist or did society make me this way?


It scares me that everything I write is for you. Even the truths I stole from other people, the ones that don’t recognise their own stories, every word was meant for your eyes only. I envision how you’d read them, your harsh yet accurate pronunciation, and what you might learn. I am still trying to tell you about us, even when you don’t want to listen anymore. I am still trying to reach you from this side of the river, because I forgot how to swim. I thought holding onto you would stop me from drowning, but you cut me loose when we began to sink faster. I am stuck here on this side of the river, trying to build bridges with a severed tongue and scattered words. I have disappeared from your thoughts completely and now the memories are fading too, taking the best bits of me with them, the bits that no one knew.

I can’t stop watching stand up comedy, filling up every second with empty laughs to pretend I still know how to be happy. I smile at every line, every lie, over and over, like none of it matters, none of it hurts. I keep the sharpest knife in the top drawer, and it talks to me sometimes, like an old friend. Sometimes it whispers, like it knows a secret. Sometimes it’s more tempting than taking another drink, but the scars mock me when history repeats itself, and there’s no escaping.

I keep waiting to be hit by a bus or maybe something will fall from the sky and put me out of my misery. I stopped looking when I cross the road in case I cheat death by accident and win more time to waste. I fell over in the shower when I closed my eyes and saw your face, your hands were wrapped around my throat, choking the last breath out of my lungs so I could find peace.

I threw your favourite mug at our kitchen floor and watched it crumble to pieces like our lives, lives that we were no longer sharing. I couldn’t break your heart as well as your broke mine so I peeled off your mask and laughed at the voices you had been hiding. I hated her with more passion than hot summer nights, rolling around on the grass with a stranger and kissing them on the mouth. I wanted you to see the damage so I left all the remains as they were, bloody and untidy, I’m not sure which is worse. It’s been four months but I think our ghosts still linger in that apartment, speaking softly of forgotten promises and a better life you had promised. I left you one last message, telling you to come and find me before all you discover is a corpse.


let me tell you about the time
he passed a cigarette and accidentally burnt my skin
but instead of saying sorry he laughed
at my clumsiness and
told me to be more careful next time

let me tell you about the time
he made me coffee and never asked if i took milk or sugar
and I drank it black with a grimace
too grateful to complain
but I knew he noticed anyway

let me tell you about the time
when I leaned in then regretted my sin
because he was still too far to kiss
but it was too late to leave with nothing
so i hugged him awkwardly

let me tell you about the time
i caught him staring at the scar on my leg
but never stopped to ask me what happened
I suppose he simply didn’t care
maybe that’s the worst injury